Quick Tips During Car Breakdown

woman having car trouble on the phone

Don’t be stuck in a sticky situation when your car breaks down. Take a look at some of these quick fixes to help you tackle your car problems today, or call a towing company if the situation is more of an emergency.

Safety first

No matter the specifics of the situation, your first step should always be to maintain the highest level of safety possible. If your car breaks down on the highway, carefully pull over to the right-hand curb and bring your vehicle to a complete stop. Turn on your hazards. Pop your hood, and cautiously exit on the passenger side to avoid stepping into oncoming traffic. Then prop up the hood, as it will give other drivers an additional visual cue as to your situation. If you are unable to move your vehicle off the highway, turn on your hazards and call for assistance. As soon as it’s safe to do so, and exercising extreme caution, exit the vehicle and hasten to the right-hand curb. Never try to fix your car when it’s stuck in the middle of the road.

A visual inspection

car engine under the hood

There are a few things to keep an eye out for when you look under the hood. Take note of your observations; this information could be useful if you end up needing to relay your situation to a mechanic or towing service.

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  • Check for leaks. Is there water streaming out of the radiator? Is there oil pooling on the engine?
  • Examine the battery. Determine whether or not all the cables are still connected. If there is a disconnected cable, cautiously reconnect it, making sure the engine is off when you do. Having battery issues? You may need a battery boost.
  • Give the engine a sniff. Note if there are any suspicious odours, like that of burnt oil or gasoline. Excessive heat coming from the engine is also a red flag.
  • Check the fluids. If you think your engine is overheating, one possible culprit could be a lack of fluids. In any case, it’s a good idea to give them all a check to see if levels are normal. Inspect transmission fluid, engine coolant, brake fluid, washer fluid, and engine oil. You’ll likely have already noted your fuel levels, but if you haven’t, then take a quick peek at your gas gauge as well. Refilling any missing fluids (provided you have them available) could help get you moving again.

couple experiencing car troubles in the middle of nowhere

Wait 5–10, and try again

Try to restart the car. Wait a good five to ten minutes, turning off your car completely in the interim. You might get lucky and be able to get your car back on the road again without outside assistance. But when all else fails, you’ll need a tow.

Thankfully there’s Bayview Auto Towing. When you’re stuck in Surrey, Cloverdale, White Rock, or other nearby areas, just give us a ring and we’ll be there ASAP to tow you back to safety.